With a month to go until Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree, FromSoftware has broken its silence once more to show us a messed up new guy we'll fight in the expansion

 Contorted bestial Erdtree character with gold mask and dual circle blades.
Contorted bestial Erdtree character with gold mask and dual circle blades.

Truly, there are few games that could work me into a lather with a single, context-free image of a new enemy, but Elden Ring is certainly one of them. The official Elden Ring Twitter account casually dropped the new nasty boy⁠—who was not featured in the Shadow of the Erdtree expansion's first trailer⁠—this morning.

"Fearsome foes of unfathomable power await you in the Realm of Shadow," the tweet reads. Alright, yeah, I think I could have guessed that. The real meat here is in the image: a gold mask-wearing, grey skinned thing with Omen horns, twin round blades (think the Daedric Crescent from Morrowind, I'm not cultured enough to know what the real life counterpart might be), and stark white hair draping down over the mask and through one of its eye holes. The creature appears contorted and bent over, with its head hanging by its feet, like it's doing yoga or, as PCG contributor Jon Bolding pointed out, maybe looking for a lost contact.

Contorted bestial Erdtree character with gold mask and dual circle blades
Contorted bestial Erdtree character with gold mask and dual circle blades

The design is chock full of clues and callbacks to the main game, and from the jump my money's on this guy being a regular enemy or repeated boss. It feels like a lesser version of the stunning Lion Dance creature from SotE's trailer, the way Grafted Scions correspond to Godrick the Grafted or Cleanrot Knights to Malenia.

The pattern and spread of its Omen horns are reminiscent of Mohg, Lord of Blood, but otherwise its gaunt appearance, sack cloth robe, and white hair seem closer to Margit/Morgott. For a last potential connection, the creature's gold mask is strangely similar to those worn by Erdtree Guardians in the base game⁠—you know, those little spear guys who guard the way to Erdtree Avatars and new Physick effects at the lesser Erdtrees.

One thing that seems clear to me is that the cursed Omen⁠—and potentially their deeper lore and origins⁠—are going to figure in SotE's lore in a big way. This makes sense given the new realm's nature as a dark counterpart to the Lands Between: maybe it's a new home (or origin point) for things that don't fit into the Golden Order. We don't have too long to wait until we know for sure: Shadow of the Erdtree will launch on June 21, a little over two years since Elden Ring's original release.